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At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Tuesday, 16 March 2021

The Challenger

I reckon I can be pretty patient and I have no problem with my own company so up until now Lockdown hasn't been too much of a burden for me. I have explored my local area with more intensity than at any time in my twenty years residence here. It seems crass to complain but I now have to admit to myself that I have no huge motivation to explore further even though this area is an AONB with classic limestone scenery. I keep reading back about all the encounters and anecdotes from my long walks and more and more yearn to be off again to find new ground and have mini adventures.  In the first part of Lockdown I was sufficiently motivated to go for a walk every day for 100 days but that urge has gone and it seems to be just a couple of times a week now just to ensure my body doesn't seize up completely. Since the 100 days period I have had some salvation by taking up modelling which was something I did in my youth.

When I first rejoined the modelling scene I was aware that without use of an air-brush everything would be limited, but I also knew that its use is difficult to learn  never mind master. I bought one including the compressor and struggled for a long time blaming myself before I realised that it was just yet another inferior product. I then bought a better one and the difference is marked. It happens all the time for people embarking on some new venture when they are fobbed off with "starter level" equipment just at the time when they need the most help and quality equipment whereas a professional  tennis player with years of experience would probably perform up to standard with a cheapo racket from the Pound Store (until it disintegrated.)

I have now been able to use the airbrush on this latest model in a more sophisticated way creating a modulated, weathered  effect on the tank's paintwork and some darkening on the engine compartment covers, and also hints of rust and wear and tear on more used parts. All that is not too obvious on the photos but I feel I have certainly made progress and am now encouraged to experiment further.

Please click photos to see enlargement

The tank commander came with two options for arm positions but I either lost one arm or one was missing. He should have had his bent arm stretched down onto the turret so he now looks a bit odd. The other option had him with both hands covering his ears, I suppose reacting from from the noise of the 26 litre Rolls Royce 1200 hp engine of this Challenger Mk1.

The next few show the Challenger on patrol in my garden - trespassing cats beware. Definitely worth clicking to enlarge (I think)


  1. I'm afraid I allowed my daily walks or runs to almost fizzle out. Lighter & longer days, improving weather, combined with the light at the end of the lockdown have all helped me get back on programme. Plans for multi-day walks later this year have encouraged me to get out too!
    Your Challenger tank model is impressive, very significantly better than anything I produced as a teenager.

  2. You can buy a Haynes Manual for repair and maintenance - after challenging gardening campaigns , perhaps

  3. JJ I think we have all been tested almost to the limit. For me it has been relatively easy but I feel for those confined to a high rise flat in the middle of a city with a number of children to look after and perhaps a grossly reduced income.

    I look forward to when you (and I ) can report more adventurous doings.


    gimmer - The engine is not modelled in my Challenger. I bet in real life you could probably get inside the 26 litre beast and go for a walk.

  4. Well done Conrad, that must have given you much pleasure.
    When you are strolling around your local AONB, do have a thought for those of us who are tramping the muddy paths of West Sale!
    Just off for (not)parkrun (or walk) number 260 ish... getting slower by the week.

  5. Phreerunner - Hi Martin. Yes, the modelling is incredibly absorbing and has been of great benefit to me in these times. Today I cut a small piece from the sprue about the size of two grains of rice. It shot off somewhere and I spent over half an hour searching with a torch until it was time to go and prepare the evening meal. After that I went back and searched again for another half hour then emptying a rubbish bag and shaking all the screwed bits of paper and stuff until the delinquent piece surprisingly appeared on my carpet - very entertaining?

  6. I had a similar experience today with Kompass 33. It eventually appeared at the bottom of a box that I'd already searched twice!

    It passes the time, I suppose!